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cshrpminor

2016 J45 Antiquity

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Hi all,

this is my first post but I have been reading quite a lot in this form lately as I am about to purchase my first Gibson acoustic guitar (J45). I live in Austria and none of the guitar stores stock any Gibson acoustics so it's not that easy to actually get a hold of them to try out in person. There are some really big stores in Germany (Thomann, Musicstore) and the Netherlands (The Fellowship of Acoustics, which is really great by the way) and they do provide 30 day money back guarantee so it wouldn't be a huge issue to just order one online.

Anyways, I was actually about to pull the trigger on a 2019 J45 Standard but then suddenly a 2016 J45 Antiquity popped up in the classifieds. I have been in contact with the guy since yesterday. He sent me a bunch of pictures and I negotiated the price down to what a new 2019 J45 Standard currently goes for here in Europe (€2200). I am going to check out the guitar tomorrow afternoon but it is a 2 and a half hour drive. According to the seller the guitar has only been played at home and there is basically no wear or damage whatsoever.

There are a couple of things that I noticed on the pictures for which I would like to ask your advice:

1) The area around the fretboard extension, mainly on the right side and especially near the sound hole, looks kind of rough (white). This bothered me at first but I was reading here in another thread (the J45 from the pawn shop) that this seems to be normal and a "Gibson thing". Is this the case?

2) The bridge pins don't look like they are original. They have a darker cream color. On all the images I have seen of this model, the bridge pins are white. The current owner did not do any modifications. He is the second owner (had it since 2017) and according to him, he took it over from the original owner in complete original state. I know this is really a minor thing and I won't base my decision on the bridge pins but maybe someone has seen these kind of pins being used by Gibson.

The strings which are currently on the guitar look completely wasted so that's not going to make things easy.

So now I have to decide. Do I order a new 2019 J45 Standard or buy the used 2016 J45 Antiquity Limited in great condition for the same price? I am kind of leaning towards the Antiquity as it does seem to be a step up from the standard (bone nut and saddle) and I really love how it looks (tuners, gold headstock logo, ...).

Here are the links to the images:

Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4 Image 5 Image 6 Image 7 Image 8 Image 9 Image 10 Image 11 Image 12 Image 13 Image 14

What do you think?

Thanks for reading, hope to get some input from you guys!

Cheers

J

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I like the antiquity - but would want to better understand the finish issues you describe.  Via the pictures - I have a hard time telling if it's reflection - or something in the finish.  If it looked like the finish was cloudy underneath, I probably would pass on it.  

On the bridge pins - they look like the ones that came on my '18 J45 Vintage, and to me the bridge looks to be tusq (some sort of super plastic that is great for this stuff).  Mine came with that as well.  Nothing I'd worry about.  Also - just worth understanding is the pick up.  I'm not sure these came with one originally, but looks like there is one now.  Just would want to know what it is and how it got there - might come with it, not sure...

No major questions - but a few,  if you can answer them, I feel a guitar  you can play first is a bonus in my book.  If you can not answer them, ordering from somewhere with a good return policy is key.  A good thing about buying new is if it does have  a problem, you typically have a recourse to get it addressed (although it could still be a pain).

Luck

(PS - other folks on this forum know 10k times as much stuff as I know... so maybe they'll weigh in)

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- From my personal experience with Gibson acoustics the "rough, White" appearance at the fretboard is no problem, had it on some guitars and mostly could be removed with the Gibson guitar polish.

- I have never played a J45 vintage model but they look cool and maybe sound a little different to the standard versions. I have a 2016 standard J45 - bought as "B-Stock" from thomann for a very good price and I like it. No idea why it was given back and sold cheaper, maybe the buyer expected something else. Always wanted to own a J45 and a D28 - so I had a J45 and I am playing it a lot. The new version has a fine L.R.Baggs VTC pickup system included and I used it for several sessions, so this could be an argument for a standard version. If you do not like any under saddle pickups - switch to the vintage one.

- The only Thing I do not on my J45 is the "flubby" pickguard which always wants to separate from the guitar, maybe it does not like nitro coatings. Got it re-glued some weeks ago. Maybe the Antiquity has a thin pickguard as J35s.

- The Pictures of the J435 antiquity show a clean Instrument. I am shure the experts in this Forum - which I like a lot - can say something to the bridge Pins.

- I know about the situation of guitar stores in Austria - I am living in Bavaria. Thomann has some Gibsons in theis (locked) showroom for luxury guitars, but Treppendorf is quite far away from Austria, whereever you live there.  Another source is BTM guitars in Nuernberg - check their website. A lot of guitar enthusiasts are working there and they have an own luthier working in the store. Of course thomann, Musicstore and the other big ones can offer service anyhow. Just Music Berlin is another good source, too.  I have bought some Gibson acoustics "un-tested" by the Internet and had no problems up to now.

So - what will be your decision?

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Just to clarify, the finish issues I was referring to are directly at the edge of the fretboard extension, mainly above the soundhole, but also some very minor ones on the right side.

143196511_2019-08-1613_44_23-J45Antiquity-GoogleDrive.png.76efa22f08c335995ba9284c3ce16d32.png

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Yeah, that roughness at the fretboard extension is nothing. Nothing. I'd be more interested in what looks to be some high action in photo 9. Might be something that could easily be adjusted. Make sure it's comfortable to play. Nice tall saddle, too. Thin pickguard a plus. Like the tuners. Nice demure burst. Photo 5 seems to show a nice chunky neck profile, which would most likely be an upgrade from the slim taper neck on the 2019.

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Hi all,

so minor update, I did not go with the Antiquity but I am still without a J45.  The Fellowship of Acoustics were so kind as to send me a video comparing the two J45 Standards they have in stock.

Video 

These are some images of the first one in the video.

Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4

I am kind of leaning towards number one although I have never seen such a pattern on a bridge before. What do you think?

Edited by cshrpminor

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Ha ha- now you will have a J-45 with the Rotomatic tuners.

 

and that can always be changed.  But you also have a real dilemma: the 2nd guitar has a more engaging burst, maybe more over to the red side of things, and a lighter fretboard, but it also has some funky finish sinking into the top around the fretboard extension- I have a similar thing going on with my 12 fret J-45, also with the Sunset burst, and rather than messing with a return, just chalked it up to Gibson using thinner finishes these days, even though it might also have something to due with nitro finishes vs production schedules. . . but ultimately I decided not to worry about it.

Jumping between :20 sec and 1:06 s is a good a/b sample, and to these ears, no.2 sounded livelier, but maybe it's just a setup/string height thing, or no. 1 has been getting lots of play in the shop, and now the strings are a bit played. 

Flip a coin if you have to- you really can't go wrong with either one. And once decided, don't look back.

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I want to thank everyone for the input, it was much appreciated. I went to a local guitar store in Vienna today and brought home this beauty.

Taylor 317e

Sounds, plays, looks and smells beautifully.

Case closed 🙂

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A nice guitar and I‘m shure it plays and sounds good, but maybe there will  be some comments why to switch the guitar brand ... ☹️

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Just now, docr said:

A nice guitar and I‘m shure it plays and sounds good, but maybe there will  be some comments why to switch the guitar brand ... ☹️

 

That's simple, there was just no way for me to play any Gibson guitars (acoustics that is) where I Iive. Our guitar stores simply do not have them and I did not want to through the hassle of ordering online and having to send it back again.

The guys in this specific store are really nice and buying locally gives me some peace of mind.

I guess a J45 was just not meant to be.

 

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That‘ s absolutely clear, I am in the lucky situation  that I have two stores selling Gibson acoustics in about 150km distance. No idea why Gibson sales ignores Austria - at least the big cities, I‘m working for an Austrian company and have some ‚Guitar talks‘ with colleagues, but this is not only a Gibson  thing. A lot of local,  smaller music stores lost their Gibson business years ago and the market for guitars in this price segment is limited. Have fun with your new guitar and do not be surprised if some ‚toga‘ contributions appear.

I found a rare Gibson acoustic today in Berlin ... but this will be a new thread - or an old one from Jinder continued

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